Saturday, November 08, 2003
[Special Report from Ta Kung Pao]
Winner of the Miss Hong Kong pageant of 1999, Sonija Kwok has been promoted by TVB all along, but has always been surrounded by much negative press and rumours. Luckily, now she is dating Deric Wan, the rumours have gradually subsided, but the negative press is still continuing. As a girl in her twenties, as well as having to face the pressures of her work, it must be hard for her to bear so much destructive press as well. However, when chatting with Sonija, I find that she is a very optimistic lady and has a very strong ability to adapt, so when faced with all this news, she deals with it calmly and does not feel like it is hard work at all. She says: "When I first entered the industry, I didn't understand how it worked and with some reports that came from nowhere I felt very upset and hurt; but as time went by, I have learned the processes of the industry and how some of these things should be taken lightly because time will prove everything."
She says that sometimes when she is faced with the press, she is worried there will be no topic of conversation, but the magazines help her by creating a topic and this has helped her chances of making the press! However, if the magazines continuously write negative stories about her, is she not worried that the viewers will start to believe them? She laughs: "No, the viewers nowadays are very intelligent and will not believe everything they read in the gossip magazines."
Often you will see that Sonija and the press do not seem to get on and she admits that she has few friends in the industry, but this does not mean she does not have any friends at all, her best friend is fellow beauty queen Charmaine Sheh. Mentioning that Charmaine also has a lot of negative press herself, do they feel that they are stuck in the same boat? Sonija smiles: "Maybe it is because of this that we get on so well and she offers me a lot of support. (You are both TVB leading actresses, is there no competition?) TVB is a big company and it needs a lot of different talents, one person cannot make all of the series and I cannot earn all the money. If there is a chance then why not make it together, then it will be a lot happier!"
Ever since she entered the industry, she has mentioned that she has a boyfriend, but the rumours kept coming and then after starting to date with Deric Wan, she openly admitted it despite all the bad press surrounding her boyfriend. She has no regrets or hesitation about her love and gives the impression that she is a girl who places love at her highest priority. Actually, the top priority in her heart in her family, followed by her career and love only takes a third position. As family comes first in her list, has she thought about getting married? She says that she does not want to think too far ahead at the moment and hopes to put all her efforts into her career.
In the four years since she has joined showbiz, what gains and losses has she experienced? She thinks and says: "My gains are that I have met a lot of different people and tried a lot of things that you normally wouldn't try like acting and hosting. These are things I have never done before and has made life more fulfilling. However, work has been very busy and I can only sleep for around four hours a day, so working a year is like three years of work for a normal person, so I am feeling very tired." As for losses, of course there is her freedom as although she can go out, there will be people looking and pointing, so her father and brother do not like going out with her and she has lost out on time with her family. However given the choice again she would still choose showbiz because the gains are much greater than the losses.
When asked whether her greatest reward from the industry is finding Deric Wan? She says that meeting him was their destiny and although there have been negative criticisms of her boyfriend she will not care as she has her own opinions and views as well as feelings to experience, so she does not feel pressured. As for whether the romance will blossom, she says she will leave this to fate because no-one is able to predict what will happen tomorrow.
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